The Most Important Man in the World

Even fifty years later, it’s shocking to read the concise and disturbing lede from a 1963 edition of the New York Times: “President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was shot and killed by an assassin today. He died of a wound in the brain caused by a rifle bullet that was fired at him as he was riding through downtown Dallas in a motorcade. Vice President Lyndon Baines Johnson, who was riding in the third car behind Mr. Kennedy’s, was sworn in as the 36th President of the United States 99 minutes after Mr. Kennedy’s death.”

+ “Then Malcolm Perry stepped up to the aluminum hospital cart and took charge of the hopeless job of trying to keep the 35th president of the United States from death. And now, the enormousness came over him. Here is the most important man in the world, Perry thought.” Here’s a look back at Jimmy Breslin’s column for the New York Herald Tribune: A Death in Emergency Room One. (This also includes Breslin’s famous piece on JFK’s gravedigger. Both are must-reads.)

+ CBS News is replaying its original four days of reporting here. Also, here’s NPR’s Twitter account called Today in 1963.

+ 23 front pages covering the Kennedy assassination.

Copied to Clipboard